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Guild Pilot

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Dr. Cheese, Oct 8, 2005.

  1. I just picked up a Guild Pilot in a swap and I have really been enjoying this bass. Back in 1987, I bought a Pilot 5, it was the first nice 5 I ever owned and i kept it about three years. I always had fine memories of that bass, and this Guild i have now, also a 1987 model is showing me why I liked it so much. I know that some might prefer a more traditionally shaped bass, but this old '80s bass has great electronics (EMGs) and a wonderful neck and build quality. Those of you who want an MIA Fender or a Skyline JO or DJ should check out a Pilot if you are short on cash. I bet well set up, a Pilot would do well in comparison to some boutique Fender style basses, remember, Pilots listed for around $800 habck in the late 1980s. At 4% inflation, these basses would list for $1,300 and would probably have a street price of $900 if they were still made in the states. I just read the Pilot section of Jim Roberts, American Basses and it said that Fender shut down Pilot construction when they bought Guild. I guess they didn't want such a high level of competition for MIA Fenders. Instead the later Pilots were made in Korea by DeArmond.

    I know I would love to get my hands on another Pilot5, it feels really good to go back and kind of revive an old love, even if it is with the four string version. :eyebrow:
  2. cb56


    Jul 2, 2000
    Central Illinois
    I've seen a few Pilot 5's for sale recently. bassgear.com and a couple on gbase. also one at BassNW. price range from $425 to $600. Someday I'll own one.
  3. Dirty Dave

    Dirty Dave

    Oct 17, 2004
    Boston, MA
    Back in 88-89 I bought a black Guild Pilot and absolutely LOVED it. I sold it to buy a PA when I started singing and totally regret it.

    Enjoy yours.....the Pilot is a great bass.
  4. Here's a couple of Pilot 4s for people who don't know the model. These were great basses. Guild made over 6,000 in the 1980s before Fender shut them down. The natural finish one looks like mine.
  5. I've got an 80's Guild Pilot 5 that I was going to sell because I don't like the EMGs that much.CB56 wanted to do a trade with me but I decided to keep it and change pickups so I put some Ultra Jazzes in it.I had put a BTS active tone circuit in so I left it in and changed the volume pots to 250K and now it sounds way better to me.I agree on the playability and build quality,it's as good as anything I've had and now I'll be hanging on to this.If you like EMGs you won't find a better bass and if you don't you could change pickups and still have a great bass for less $ than a Fender custom.Thanks to everybody that encouraged me to keep it and change pickups,it worked out great and it will be my main bass again.
  6. bassaussie


    Oct 6, 2001
    Yeah, I'm a big fan of these basses as well. Definitely a cheap way to get into a boutique-style bass.

    I tried a 5 string up in London about 2 years back that supposedly belonged to Alec Jon Such at some stage (ex-Bon Jovi). Needless to say, it was in very good condition! :D Thing I found, though, was that the E-G strings were great, but the B string sucked bad. I don't know if a decent set up could've remedied the situation, but in comparison to everything else about the bass, the B string was woeful.
  7. I've got a DeArmond Pilot Deluxe 4 that I've recently strung up as a Tenor bass (ADGC). I think they're some of the best basses you can get for the money.

    3rd bass from the right:

    It might be put up for sale soon. I've got a serious GAS attack going on, but I'm trying to be strong :help:
  8. Pennydreadful

    Pennydreadful Goin out West

    Jun 13, 2005
    Arlington, Texas
    Hey, how does the Modulo sound/play? I don't mean to hijack the thread, but I've been dying to know, and reviews seem really scarce.
  9. A few people have asked me that...

    It's decent. I've got my two custom boutique basses now so I don't really play it much, but it plays well and sounds good. Kinda like a cross between a P-bass and a J, a little more on the P side maybe. It might also be put up for sale soon...

    That bass is really all about the looks though :cool:



  10. Pennydreadful

    Pennydreadful Goin out West

    Jun 13, 2005
    Arlington, Texas
    Cool, thanks. I think it looks cool enough (and fits my style perfectly as far as appearance) that, as long as it doesn't sound like total crap, I'm gonna have to buy one. :p :D
  11. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I have a DeArmond Pilot 5 Deluxe that I bought NOS for a song. It was my first 5-string, and I found that once I committed to sticking with the 5, and I started looking around for a "good" 5-string, I had a hard time finding anything I liked better than my DeArmond. Of course, I has swapped out the pickups (for Barts) and preamp (for an OBP-1), but still, I felt that it was quite a testament to this "budget" bass that it held up so well.

    Here's a shot of mine with my Skjold:

  12. Did Daryl Jones play one of these? I could be wrong but I seem to remember him playing one in a Sting video.
  13. Pete skjold

    Pete skjold

    May 29, 2004
    Warsaw Ohio
    Yes Daryl was a big Pilot guy especially with Sting . One person most people don't think of when it comes to Pilots is Jaco . He was promoting them just before he died . He also was the one that came up with the Hartke cab . As I remember the original cabs were Guild/Hartke . This is why I think he was using them at the time .

  14. Bassmanbob

    Bassmanbob Supporting Member

    I got a Guild Pilot 4 string in either 86 or 87. I don't remember, but I gave it to my nephew who started taking up the bass about 10 months ago. It has a pointy hockey stick headstock. I've never seen one like it on Talkbass yet, and I don't have any pictures of it now. It had the reverse P and a J pickups.
  15. willgroove2


    Aug 16, 2003
    chicago IL
    Endorsing Artist;Essential sound products,Dunlop, Ergo Instruments
    I got a guild pilot 4 string in '86 as my first good bass,it was such a difference from my gibson grabber bass(i still have both)i later got a pilot 5 string from a pawn shop for $145.00 when they were sell for $1200.00 new and played that bass all over the world literaly.they were/are great bass's that i still use on sessions from time to time.
  16. lame(B)ass


    Jun 18, 2004
    I have DeArmond Pilot Standard - the cheapest one from them. Made in Indonesia. But the the neck is simply great. I don't know if it's same as on the others models, but it's amazing. :) Very good body shape. :hyper:
  17. keith phelps

    keith phelps

    Sep 25, 2002
    I have a Dearmond Pilot Pro 5 in natural finish that I am interested in selling. It looks just like the one that TOMBOWLUS has but it is bolt on. It is in like new condition (9.5 out of 10). I love the bass but I just never got accustomed to playing a 5er. The build quality of the bass is flawless as far as I can tell. I have never picked up another Korean bass that I thought was better. Two pc. solid Ash body, maple/walnut neck, satin finish hardware, active electronics.
  18. Ohmslaw


    Aug 24, 2005
    I never liked the EMG Pilots but in 1989 my luthier turned me on to the Advaced Pilot which has Bartolini's. While window shopping at Sam Ash I came across an A-Pilot for $550.00 w/ case. Needless to say I bought it and still have it today.
  19. I have had that Pilot 4 for few weeks now and I still love it. The neck is super thin like a Fender Geddy Lee Jazz and the bass feels like a toy compared to my SR5. I guess it weighs about eight pounds. This is a fine finger style bass. It has a nice sound with excellent lows and mids. The highs are good, but this bass has more of a P vibe than Jazz. The slap tone is definitely less scooped than the sound of a jazz. The reversed P pickup really dominates the sound although the J pickup provides a significant amount of brightness compared to the P pickup soloed. My Pilot has really cut into the amount that I play my SR5. I have connected with this four in way that I haven't with a four in a very long time. I am so happy I got this bass, and the fact that is was less than $450 only makes it sweeter.

    I also wonder why more maker don't use an electronics set up like the Pilot. It has active EMGs, but controls are the same as those on a passive J-bass. I really like this set up, because it delivers the noiseless performance of active pickups simply allowing the player to color his sound through the amp or outboard preamp. I am thinking of getting a Sadowsky outboard preamp to see if I get any of that Sadowsky majic that I've heard about on the cheap (not that a $300 outboard preamp box really cheap.)